* Posts by bep

229 posts • joined 14 Mar 2011

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Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

bep

Paying for content

My views on this have changed in recent months. Partly it's to do with the Playstore, where you pay a couple of bucks for the 'Pro' version and the ads go away (not talking about tracking etc here, just the ads) Google has prepared the ground by getting people to pay a little so we don't see ads, and in that respect they may have done everyone a favour. I think sites like El Reg should have another look at the subscription model, but the price has to be right and the quid pro quo is strictly no tracking and no ads.

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OpenOffice project 'all but dead upstream' argues prominent user

bep

Re: Splitters!

Reductio ad absurdum much? Two does not equal 27 around these parts. Meanwhile I find I get by fine with Libre Office on my home computer and have no real need for MS Office. It seems that plenty of other people are having the same experience. I don't think Microsoft is laughing that hard.

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Australia's marriage equality vote should take place online

bep

No thanks

Use the right tool for the job. The right tool has already been invented and is in use. It's an anonymous, paper ballot paper.

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GDS denim brigade flees GOV.UK after Web2.0rhea MESSIAH Bracken departs

bep

Re: Hundreds of people who've never delivered anything.

In Germany, I believe, you have to be a builder before you can become an architect. What a silly idea, why should people with a conceptual bent require any actual hands-on skills?

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Samsung looks into spam ads appearing on Brits' smart TVs

bep

Yes, well

I'd like to turn off my LG Bluray player's wifi connection, which I turned on once out of curiosity. Unfortunately it appears to have an 'on' switch, but no 'off' switch. So now it's permanently on, but not connected, which is probably why it and the LG TV it's connected to take an age to actually, you know, display an image.

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Clueless do-gooders make Africa's conflict mineral mines even more dangerous

bep

Re: Bandit theory

Well, the central government gave the British the Royal Navy. I don't know what percentage of GDP it used, but I suspect it was substantial. This meant that when Boney, for example, wanted to make an uninvited visit to London to take away the GDP, he was prevented from doing so. At the same time, the UK could go and take other people's GDP in whatever manner suited them at the time. Now that the British feel safe from invasion, they no longer spend so big on defence. This is a big benefit of the European Union for Britain, but you rarely see it discussed.

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

bep

Re: How It Works

This argument appears to make sense and you should could add in tourism which is a big 'export' earner for Greece. However, there is another alternative that doesn't involve Greece leaving the Eurozone. They could just charge less for beer, in Euros, than they do in Italy or Spain or Germany. If the beer is actually brewed in Greece, that should be fairly straightforward. There is nothing forcing Greece to pay equivalent wages to other EU countries. Some compliance costs, no doubt, but apart from that it's doable, and probably will be done.

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Cheaper broadband will slow NBN adoption, says Turnbull

bep

Re: Give the NBN to people that actually want it

You haven't quite picked up on the fact that you are still talking about right now, and he is talking about the future? I'd also suggest you try asking those people on slower connections if they wouldn't like a faster connection if it didn't cost them any extra. I don't think many of them would say 'no thanks'.

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Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

bep

Re: Sea sick boffins

The problem with 'proving' this is that the boffins want physical evidence but the boats were made of wood which has long since rotted away. So the fact that there is a population on one side of the sea or strait and a genetically-related population on the other side at a time when there was no land bridge is not accepted as evidence that they must have used boats. Instead they hunt for evidence that the dates must be wrong, instead of accepting the simpler explanation that they used boats.

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Foxconn to hire a million Indian staff in major base shift

bep

Five states?

I notice no one has picked up on the part of the statement about building fabs in five different states with more to follow. This of course gives Foxconn the chance to play the states off against each other in order to get ultra-favourable tax and employment conditions. That's what happens in Australia and I would imagine that is what will happen in India.

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

bep

Re: It's and it's

Oh well, at the risk of etc., your grammar teacher should also have explained that apostrophes are also used to indicate possession, as in "Pluto's moon Charon." This applies to Tom's car and Pluto's moon, but it doesn't apply to 'it' for reasons which remain obscure to me but others can no doubt explain. So it's its, not it's after all.

Sorry about that.

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The END of WINDOWS EVERYWHERE! Is that really what Nadella wants?

bep

Re: they missed the boat on WP

It seems to me the dumbest thing Microsoft did was murder the Netbook market. Here they had their software running on cheap devices that people actually wanted to buy so they artificially crippled them so as not to compete with high-end devices. They are now doing exactly the same thing with the cheap Windows 8.1 laptops. If you are a software company, I would think the one rule should be 'Do not cripple your own software when you have active competitors in the same market'.

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iiNet warns NBN circuits too expensive in the Netflix era

bep

The world is different now

so everyone has to get used to it. Quoting February sign-up figures is particularly pointless in a post-Netflx world. There have been plenty of streaming services before but Netflix do it right and at a reasonable price. So now everything is different. Fibre to the Home wasn't intended to deal with today's demand, it was meant to deal with demand long into the future, which no one can predict except everyone seems confident that demand for data and speed will rise. Judging by the number of websites which insist on running videos the moment you connect, this trend seems likely to continue.

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Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

bep

Re: BA, Bangalore to Boston with a 90 minute layover at T5

I hear you and agree, every hour over 12 is interminable. Like lots of others I did the Sydney via the Middle East to Europe route a couple of years ago, 14 hours plus for the first leg - it's absolute torture. On departure form Dubai we were stuck on the tarmac for an hour with the doors open; it's the desert, you know? It got rather warm. On the second leg of the flight back there was an unfortunate woman who had been bumped off ALL FOUR Legs of her flights over and back. She was days late and beyond fury. Not doing that again, go via Singapore instead. The long leg is first on the way back and you can stop off in Singapore which we did and i recommend if you have the time. The time diffence between Sydney and Singapore is small so you're already helping your body to deal with the jetlag.

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So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?

bep

Re: Hmm

The problem with classical explanations like this is that they don't deal too well with things like the housing market. We should invest rationally in housing just as we should in any other investment but the problem is you can't live in a share portfolio. So people put up with paying interest on housing loans which is over the odds so they will have somewhere to live. It should still be a rational investment because if you rent you should be paying the owner's real or implied interest plus a bit, but what's this, there seems to be a disconnect between house prices and rents? How does one explain that 'classically'?

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Why Joe Hockey's Oz tax proposals only get five out of 10

bep

Not to mention

The dodgy mark-up and mark-down pricing some of these companies have been indulging in which can only be interpreted as an attempt to evade Australian tax on goods sold in Australia.

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Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

bep

Proportional representation?

I don't think you want that. Looking on from far away Australia, I have to observe that, while our system is far from perfect all the other systems seem even further from perfect. I frankly don't believe that 'first past the post' even counts as democracy if you have more than two candidates. Try preferential voting, it can't be worse than what you have now.

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

bep

Asus Transformer

I've had one of these for several years and it deals with most of the problems the author talks about. Unfortunately Asus seems to have stuffed up the later models by changing the hinge design and they seem to have largely abandoned the Android versions for Windows 8.1. The Windows models don't seem to have the extra battery in the keyboard half which is one of the best features of the Android versions. So another example of a problem being solved and then unsolved for no apparent reason.

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Apple taxpayers swarm to stone-age iPhone 6+ purely for the bigness

bep

Moto G

I recently upgraded to the larger Moto G and I endorse your comments about Lollipop. Change for change's sake, most for the worse. For example, apparently they have made the short-cuts on the drop-down list 'dynamic'. If you don't use them for a while, they disappear. Apparently all the Android guys think this is a great idea. I don't use the torch shortcut very often, but when I need it I want it to be where I expect it to be.

Having said that, I do think the Apple interface is very dated, it takes a lot of 'flicks' to do things that are quicker to do in Android.

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How Groucho Marx lost his voice and found his funny bone

bep

Re: I have to say

Which scene contains the immortal line:

"Why Tallulah, I didn't recognise you standing up!"

(Hopefully I've remembered that right).

OK, why a duck?

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Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

bep

There's no such thing as 'economics'.

Maggie Thatcher told us that. After all, if there is no such thing as society, and as economics is a social science, well.... Really 'the economy' is just a model, with all the limitations of every model. They used to call it 'Econometrics', but they seem to have convinced themselves that it was real. As for Keynes, I think he understood markets, didn't he make his money, as well as that of his Bloomsbury mates, from money market speculation?

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Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

bep

Re: @Simon Sharwood - So... Some thoughts.

I wondered for some time why passenger aircraft didn't have cameras monitoring the trailing edge of the wing. Then I thought I read that such cameras had been implemented, but is seems not. This seems like a basic safety feature that should be mandatory. The other question is, is it time for the reintroduction of a flight engineer to monitor all this feedback information that is overwhelming the pilots?

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Oz energy company AGL promises to decarbonise by 2050

bep

Carbon pricing

The really interesting part is the decision to impute a carbon price into future investment decisions. That's a real kick in the teeth for the current government's policies. They want the market to sort it all out, and the market has decided it wants a price on carbon!

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US Navy robot war-jet refuels in air: But Mav and Iceman are going down fighting

bep

Re: Bah!

"and yet thousands of boots hit the dirt every time we go to war."

Actually the battlefield has been emptying for centuries. Compare the armies at Waterloo to the armies in Iraq. There is still a need for boots on the ground, but far more of them are now in support positions. In any case this has little to do with manned versus unmanned aircraft. The question has to be asked, if we know the F35 is going to be last manned fighter, does anyone actually need the F35? The delays and cost overruns aren't helping that particular program.

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Google's new scribble-tab-ulous handwriting interface for Android

bep

Graffiti anyone?

I got quite good with Graffiti on the old Palm Pilots and I'd be happy to try it on Android. For those who haven't used it it's a sort of shorthand script with minimal key strokes. I think that approach is better than handwriting recognition because handwriting is still likely to be slower, regardless of how good the recognition is, simply because there are more actions required with handwriting.

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Cisco loses logo lawsuit against WiFi inventor boffinhaus

bep

Well

If I were CSIRO I would defend the action, but I wouldn't use the same graphic designers again. Instead I'd go to a designer who actually thought up something original from scratch, which it appears their designers didn't bother to do in this case.

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Adobe Flash fix FAIL exposes world's most popular sites

bep

Hackers?

I know Italian defenders can be quite hard but referring to them as 'hackers' seems a bit harsh.

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Guardian: 'Oil reserves will soon be worth NOTHING!' (A bit like their stock tips, really)

bep

Re: The main point of the petition isn't economics, it's ethical

"Only if they stop using products that were produced from, or by the use of, petroleum. For example, pens, cars, planes, electronics, and most basically, food.

Once they do that (and perhaps you'd like to do it as well,) then I'll listen to what they have to say."

Pardon? The point is to stop burning oil. I've heard plenty of oil men say things like: "You know in the future people won't believe we actually burned all this irreplaceable stuff." One of the reasons not to burn oil is that its by-products are too useful. Coal has somewhat fewer other uses I'll admit, which is why it's value is likely to collapse before oil does if we decide to not burn so much stuff to make energy.

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Big Data shocker: Over 6 million Americans have reached the age of 112

bep

Day of the Jackal etc

Didn't the geezer in 'Day of the Jackal' get a British passport this way? Went to a church, found a dead'un of appropriate 'age' in the graveyard, nicked the record from the church's birth register, applied for and got a birth certificate and away he went. I believe they have tightened up on this in the UK.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

bep

So as I understand it,

we're back to waves travelling in an invisible, undetectable aether? That doesn't sound so hot, but when the other mob have to resort to Dark Matter AND Dark Energy and still wind up with multiverses, the funny old aether doesn't seem so out of order.

Enjoyed the article a lot, but as Homer Simpson said...

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Botched NBN installs leave folks with no internet, or recourse

bep

Oh dear

It seems we have managed to replace one Telstra - with two Telstras!

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Lost WHITE CITY of the MONKEY GOD found after 500 years

bep

Re: Primeval rain forest?

"Depending on the forest, this may take anywhere from a century to several millennia. Hardwood forests of the eastern United States can develop old-growth characteristics in one or two generations of trees, or 150–500 years. In British Columbia, Canada, old growth is defined as 120 to 140 years of age in the interior of the province where fire is a frequent and natural occurrence. In British Columbia’s coastal rainforests, old growth is defined as trees more than 250 years, with some trees reaching more than 1,000 years of age. In Australia, eucalypt trees rarely exceed 350 years of age due to frequent fire disturbance.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's wikipedia...."

Well, since we're trusting Wikipedia:

'The Huon Pine is a conifer, endemic to Tasmania, and the only member of the genus Lagarostrobos. It is Australia’s oldest living tree species and one of the oldest |living organisms on earth. Individuals have been known to reach an age of 3,000 years.'

Australia is quite a big place, with quite a few different tree species, not just gum trees.

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Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers

bep

A web browser?

Sorry, Vivaldi can't possibly be a web browser, it appears to support bookmarks in folders without requiring four clicks to get to them. This is not what modern users want and demand; usability statistics and my mate Nigel at the the graphic designers demonstrate this quite clearly and no debate will be entered into!

Fortunately I'm not a modern user, so more power to their arms!

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C'mon! Greece isn't really bust and it can pay its debts

bep

Maybe

"The statement that "low interest rates screwed Ireland" seems to be one of those shortcuts. I thought it was Ireland taking advantage of those low interest rates without any thought of the future that screwed them."

I think you're rather anthropomorphising a complex system there. It seems that by 'Ireland' you mean the Irish economy, which you can't credit with consciousness. It's odd to try to blame it. The reaction of the Irish economy to low interest rates was simply exactly how any economy would react.

If by 'Ireland' you mean the Irish government, then I think you'll find that it was fiscally responsible during this period and ran a surplus."

Meanwhile in Spain there was certainly a property speculation bubble, but they built a lot of infrastructure as well. This may well stand them in better stead if and when their economy recovers.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

bep

Re: Content and Style

"Theoretically, it is possible to take the style they have painstakingly (but often inexpertly) created, and fill it with content which will automatically take the corporate style. In practice, however, I have found this very hard to achieve."

That's because the first thing Word does when you open a document is re-format it for whatever you've got set as the default printer. The problem is there are far too many people who think Word is a desktop publishing program not just a word processor, and who have absolutely no clue what the difference is.

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The Revenue achieved RECORD numbers of e-tax returns ... by NOT shifting to GOV.UK

bep

Re: Same as any website...

That's the crux of it really. "We've found only five per cent of visitors use that particular function." So you remove it, and piss off five per cent of your visitors. On a government website, five per cent of users can be quite a lot of people. And a government website is NOT like a business website. You cannot choose to ignore a certain set of people, since you are public servants and are paid to provides services to EVERYONE, not just this or that percentage. So Mr Wiseguy better start 'feeding the trolls' again, because they are paying his wages.

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Prawn cocktail offers hot new way to make solar cells

bep

hmmm

"They carbonise the chitin/chitosan which burns off organic components.." I suppose they used one of those new-fangled furnaces, what's that acronym again? Oh that's it - BBQ!

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Apple Watch 'didn't work on HAIRY FANBOIS, was stripped of sensor tech'

bep

Re: Really?

From my readings on this, and I an definitely not a doctor, the main thing is to stand up and walk around for a while, even a couple of minutes. So a dual-height desk by itself doesn't actually do the business. Apart from that, standing for long periods gives you sore feet!

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Official: Single people need to LOWER their EXPECTATIONS

bep

Re: Technology

You had me right up until:

"Opposition to GMO crops etc are culturally driven attempts to prevent technological changes."

Actually, it's driven by the realisation that technological progress has been accompanied by plenty of technological disasters and they are most common when knowledge is recent and scanty. Remember 'junk DNA'? Oh, what's that, it isn't junk after all? Who knew? Nobody knew until very recently. And it gets affected by viruses and bacteria? Wow! So caution is defininitely indicated in this area which is racing ahead so large agricultural conglomerates can contiue to make big money. It would be a pity if the main use of seed banks wasn't to repair the planet after a meteor strike, but to replace crops poisoned by some half-arsed GM catastrophe.

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Turing notes found warming Bletchley Park's leaky ceilings

bep

Eeewww!

This has a long history. In World War 1 a British Army of African conscripts (and Indian volunteers) chased a German army of African conscripts all over East Africa. The Germans used paper signal pads and then, er, used paper signal pads. First stop after the Germans departed was the latrines, with a shovel. The Brits called it the DPM - Dirty Paper Method.

"So lad, what branch of the Army would you like to serve in?"

"Military Intelligence Sir!"

"Silly boy, you're in!"

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Call Gordon Freeman! Apple to build $2bn 'data command center' – BLACK MESA?

bep

Still there

Gordon Freeman never escaped from Black Mesa when I was playing the game. Still stuck on a rail, me (sigh)

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SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS that 2014 was record HOTTEST year? NO

bep

Re: Cut the sh*t!

Your observation about the location of measuring points may be accurate but you may be failing to draw the correct conclusion from it.

Increasing urbanisation (and destruction of forests etc.) is part of the problem, so there is no reason to exclude that data. Increasing population is also a factor. So the climate is probably getting warmer because we are emitting more CO2 because there are more of us in more developed situations which tends to degrade the things that mitigate CO2 in the atmosphere. The population people say the growth in numbers will slow down IF, especially, life-expectancy for children continues to improve. But will that happen if the climate continues to get hotter? That's the flip side to the economic development argument. Reducing CO2 is unlikely to create an economic disaster, it hasn't so far where it's been done, it just creates new industries (wind, solar etc.).

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

bep

Re: People back in the day...

We only know Plato said that because it was written down. The invention of writing and later printing was hugely important in the preservation and promulgation of knowledge.

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bep

Yep, it's a horseshoe

Where you place the gap in the shoe, up, down, left or right, depends on your own political outlook.

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

bep

Good for you

I eat bread, pasta, rice, spuds and fruit (every night) minimal lard but plenty of olive oil, fish and vegies and I'm still 75kg, so I suspect 'eat a balanced diet' and not too much of it is probably pretty good advice after all. Not to mention the exercise (why doesn't anyone want to mention the exercise?).

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Mastercard and Visa to ERADICATE password authentication

bep

"The move to abolish passwords will no doubt be welcomed by customers. Today we have so many passwords to remember. As a result, most of us suffer from 'password fatigue' where we use obvious or reused passwords often written down on Post-it notes or saved in Excel files on laptops," he added.

Or kept in a password storing app if you've got half a brain. Instead I will now have to have a mobile phone that works everywhere if I want to make Visa purchases. This proved a little bit tricky for me when I was in Brazil recently. The current system works fine for me, and if Visa or anyone else thinks I'm going to give a private company any biometric information about me they are out of their minds.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

bep

Ghastly

The one thing you don't go to an English website for is advice about food.

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Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY

bep

I would happily replace my current Nano (Christmas present) with one with a click-wheel like the original. Touch screen interfaces are a huge step backward for this sort of device.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

bep

Re: The Neanderthal must have been really drunk...

Sorry, but it seems to me that nothing you have said alters the fact that Neanderthals and more modern humans had fertile offspring and so were the same species, just as a dachsund and a pitt bull are the same species. If two ducks that could interbreed and have fertile offspring are for some reason regarded as different species then that is a taxonomy problem. I mean, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck...

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